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Radical and Anti-Imperialist Art on the Streets of Cuba

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With the recent visit of US President Barack Obama in Cuba and talks of lifting the decades-old embargo (it is still in effect), many Americans are excited at the notion of touring the long estranged Caribbean island. Cuba attracts those fascinated by its complicated history and ardent anti-imperialist modern culture, but it also boasts beautiful beaches, classic cars, colonial architecture, beautiful music and dance, and delicious Cuban cigars complemented by an assortment of Rum drinks. For those literary geeks among us, Cuba offers inspiration in the form of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite hang out spots and watering holes.

But aside from these marketing clichés, any self-respecting tourist must take time to admire the incredible variety of Cuban art. This can be easily achieved by visiting the truly wonderful Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana and complemented by walking the streets. As a culture led by a staunch and long-time anti-American socialist regime, it should be no surprise that the streets of Cuba’s cities are riddled with political art. Here are some gems:

Art by Martirena

Art by Martirena.

Famous Cubans immortalized (from right: Guillermo Moncada, Jose Marti, Felix Varela, Camilo Cienfuegos, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara)

Famous Cubans immortalized (from right: Guillermo Moncada, Jose Marti, Felix Varela, Camilo Cienfuegos, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara).

Art by Linares

Art by Linares.

Art by Adano

Art by Adano.

Art by Roland William Ale

Art by Roland William Ale.

chehugo

Che Guevara and Hugo Chavez looking up at Simon Bolivar.

Art by Lacoste

Art by Lacoste.

Art by Martirena

Art by Martirena.

Unknown artist

Unknown artist

Art by Javier

Art by Javier.

Cuban revolutionary propaganda

Cuban revolutionary propaganda.

Art by Linares

Art by Linares.

Art by Feddor

Art by Feddor.

Art by Ramses

Art by Ramses

Art by Lacoste

Art by Lacoste.

Art by Javier

Art by Javier.

Art by Osval and Andez

Art by Osval and Andez.

Art by Andez

Art by Andez.

Art by Mongo and Santiago

Art by Mongo and Santiago.

Art by Osval

Art by Osval.

cubanflag

Stencil featuring a modern version of the spread of the Cuban revolution.

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Art by Shekra.

All photos copyright Yoav Litvin.

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Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience.  

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